Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Story Without End, In-Progress - Part Three

Here we are to see The Story Without End, um.... End.

 Small brass bails are made to attach the clay pipe to the back of the piece.

A bail, patinated and attached to a leather cord.

Threaded through the hole in the copper name plate...


...and capped with the second. This will leave some options to attach on the outside loops. It's also a very gentle and supple way to attach a fairly fragile material - in this case, the clay pipe piece seen in last installment.

 The large slotted bolt is too harsh and sterile for the piece, and I decide to alter it.

Ready to work on it.

 To a grinder first.
 Then shaped with files...
 ..and on to the sandpaper.

 Polished and ready to replace.

I'll be looking to patina all the bright metalwork, but at this point I'm pleased with the revision.

 A beautiful little pearl is chosen to hang inside the steel blade, so wire is worked to make this happen.

 The pearl is far too large, so a tiny pearl will take its place...

 I love how the pearl rests on two points of metal below it, echoing the open circle below it.

 Now I'm hunting for an eye engraving to mount in the blade recess I've made, and this stunning steel engraving is perfect.

It needs to be soaked off of a scrapbook page, where it has been glued for 150 years.

In place. To those who noticed a small hole in the recessed area where the engraving lays now, a miniscule opal is mounted to peer out from the back side of the blade.

 Moving on now to the chamber in the heart of the piece. First, a panel of 16th-century book paper is carefully laid in place.

 Now a spray of sea urchin spines are attached, along with a tiny starfish, both of which will not be immediately viewable when looking into the lens, but around the periphery, offering furtive glimpses rather than a quick read.

 The inside of the lens housing is first painted off-white, to allow maximum light inside.

Now with paper affixed, the amount of light surfaces will negate the need for direct frontal lighting to make the interior visible.

 At long last, I can attach the lens assembly to the front of the neckpiece.

 Now I'll find an element to hang from the bottom loops by the name plate.

 Beautiful old copper-plated steel chain with a shoe button works well here.

 Really bothered by the tangle of chain on the upper part of the pendant - so the solution comes after fiddling with it for a while - the little chains are dropped down alongside the handle, rather than drooping upward. The balance immediately rights itself visually, and frames the whole piece.
Now I can patinate the metal and take beauty shots - we're done.

Come see it looking its Sunday Best:

And for all of the above plus purchasing information:

Thanks for taking the trip with me.  Next week I'll be showing a major commission taking shape - one that is emotionally loaded and quite an experience.



  1. Just letting you know I have been with you every step of the way Keith - and whilst I have often gasped in awe never before have I held my breath whilst reading your post - until I saw the immersion of the scrapbook page - eeek! Fortunately I remembered I could scroll down and see the outcome before I turned blue and passed out! As a "design-by-making" kinda gal I really appreciate seeing that someone with your experience is still 'fiddling' to get the piece just how you want it. There is hope for us mere mortals after all. Off to see the pretty pics. Ta.

  2. I can't tell you how many times I gasped looking at this piece in progress. You are a wonder, and I'm a fortunate student. Rock on, Keith!

  3. What a great tour guide you are, Keith! I enjoyed every step of the way and am looking forward to another adventure!

  4. Incredibly beautiful and fascinating journey, Keith...Thank you!

  5. SUPER SUPER COOL. Just like you. Difficult to describe how incredible of a gift you are... You are one of the very most impressive, warm, wonderful, talented people I have met. You are such a treasure ... And you create them too.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Sharon (the pirate from petaluma)

  6. I'm on the same page as SUPER SUPER COOL. Maybe I'm small-minded, but I honed in on what you did with that offensive screw!

  7. You are certainly one of a kind Keith... your work flow is amazing and it's so generous of you to share it all with us. Now if we could just climb inside your brain..... ;o)

    Amazing/intriguing/beautiful piece!

  8. Always a treat when you take us along on the creative process from start to finish. Awesome work!